Murder of a Symbol

WDFW POLICE NEED YOUR HELP – On January 9th four dead eagles were discovered floating in a lake outside of Granite Falls (Snohomish Co). The four eagles were retrieved by officers on January 10th. Initial observations suggests at least three of the birds were killed using a small caliber rifle. It appears that the birds had been perched in trees before they fell to their death into the water.

Bald eagles are protected under state and federal law. The federal violation for killing an eagle is a Class A misdemeanor. It is also a state crime with a maximum penalty of $1,000 and 90 days in jail. Also, under state law, $2000 per eagle killed is assessed upon conviction.

WDFW, Humane Society of the United States and Conservation Northwest have collaborated to offer up to $3,750 cash reward. In order to qualify for the total amount, the information must lead to an arrest and conviction. Anyone with information related to this egregious act is encouraged to call the Fish and Wildlife Police on our TIP line at 1.877.933.9847 or email us at reportpoaching@dfw.wa.gov. Information will be treated confidentially.

My thoughts on this:

I cannot imagine what would possess someone  to do this horrible  thing…… it breaks my heart,  makes me physically ill,  It hurts my  soul. It makes  me  angry  beyond words… but mostly it cuts me  deeply   to the  very core of  who I am and what I stand for….

I also  feel  guilty…. my  gut instinct on this  crime  is  that it was kids  “playing” with a  .22  rifle… that’s the  “best”???  scenario I can come up with … as a  kid I  had a  BB gun and  yes later a  .22 …the BB  gun I would take and   walk  through the  creeks and shoot at just about everything…  I pretended I was  special forces and  I’d  come up on a bridge and  sneak in and shoot at the pigeons…    I say shoot ” at them” because it was a  BB gun , the kind you  worked the  lever action to “pump” and there was  no guarantee you would  hit anything much less  kill anything  unless you were less than  3 feet away from your “target”  …I never hit anything   let alone killed anything that I remember  other than maybe a  crawdad  or  two but I  ate those….but it’s still not something I should have been doing… the .22  I got was  with strict training and rules and if the rules were  broken  (which  they were) then I lost the privilege of  using the weapon and  got a  switch that I picked across my  backside from Grandma…. but what I’m   saying here is that   I  feel  guilty that I did  that  with the BB gun  even as a kid   but I cannot   go back in time and  undo that…but what I did do  is emphasize  all safety and   gun and weapon  safety to my children  and  a  healthy respect for wildlife.

So sticking with my theory that this is  kids “playing”  with guns  – Because if it’s NOT than  this is a sick  Mother-F’er  that needs more than just 90 days in jail max and a fine…….. if it IS  kids,  the parents AND the children need to be found and  held accountable!

When I read this story and saw the  heart wrenching photo that accompanies it  I felt physically  ill and sad beyond belief.  I  cried. I cried for the beautiful  birds that were slaughtered,  I cried for   the people that  committed this crime,  and I cried for our  country, I cried for  every  person who has  seen one of these majestic creatures  up  close, for those of us that have held them and helped them heal,  I also cried  heavily for every veteran  of the US Armed forces….that’s where it hit me  the hardest… every veteran   during peace or war time  has  fought for  all  of  us   for our freedoms and   even for that 2nd amendment right to bear arms… we  did that   under the   guidance of   our government  and  our flag.  the Seal of the United States and  included in  the  symbols of every branch of the military is the Bald Eagle… it’s our National  Bird, it’s a   symbol of  Freedom ans so much more….. how could any American   harm this  bird?   honestly how  could anyone  anywhere  harm this beautiful bird??   but it  hurt me  as a  Veteran  to know that  the people that did this  do not  “get”   what  we  sacrificed for THEM..10 years of my life, pain, suffering, emotional and physical damage that I and other veterans  incurred  to  give them the  freedom to  even have that gun  and walk through the woods freely …..  it hurts to know that they just have no  appreciation  for  the Country in which  they live…. it’s the  “entitlement”  generation  and they just don’t get it……  ok I get that you  get how much this  bothered  me…..  so what can I do?  what can WE do ?  If you don’t know me   then  here’s  what I do…. I’m a  get ‘er done  guy….  I see a problem and  I look for solutions…  I  find a  solution and I   fix the problem…    so what about this one???    I see a couple  problems:

1. The federal violation for killing an eagle is a Class A misdemeanor. – Really?   just a misdemeanor???? This should be a FELONY!!!

2.  It is also a state crime with a maximum penalty of $1,000 and 90 days in jail. Also, under state law, $2000 per eagle killed is assessed upon conviction. -ONLY  90 days ?? and with our legal  system that would probably  get “waived” …should be a MANDATORY  90 days   MINIMUM….

3. WDFW, Humane Society of the United States and Conservation Northwest have collaborated to offer up to $3,750 cash reward. – Really??? i do think it’s great that  these groups  have partnered together to come up with a  reward but look  at the names of the groups and   for 4  Bald Eagles,   four  symbols of our country, of  Freedom  all they can  muster up is   $3750???? WTF???  don’t get me wrong  I  respect these  groups  and the good that  they do  and   that their money can be better used in  education and conservation  but  now a days 3750$ to  narc on your friend  isn’t enough…. ( I’m sticking with  my kids  theory) ….

so   I don’t see  much  I can really  do about  1 and 2.   but   I’ve done some  fundraising in my  day and I’ve  got  a  whole  bunch of Eagleholic  friends  that know how  to  get ‘er done with me…… so I contacted the  WDFW Police and asked them  how  I can help  increase the reward to make  it more attractive to  turn in your friend ….  they responded and  let  me  know they will find out  🙂   once I  know – trust me  you’ll know!!!!

the other  thing I can do is write this  blog post and  share it  and ask you to share the  article above from WDFW with anyone you  know in Washington State  in case they know of  someone who knows something …  and once I figure out how to increase that reward, help me  please….

and if you have other suggestions  share them below.

****Update***** The Stillaguamish Tribe has offered an additional $10,000 in reward money (for a total of $13,750) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the responsible individual(s)

http://www.king5.com/news/environment/Shooting-of-4-bald-eagles-in-Snohomish-County-sparks-outrage-187392911.html

3 thoughts on “Murder of a Symbol

  1. Mikey, I also got sick to my stomach and cried my eyes out when I read this article, and it all comes back every time I see anything about it. I agree with you 100% about having stiffer penalties for this action. I also agree that the reward should be larger…and I thank the Stillaguamish Tribe for helping to make that possible! I look forward to you letting us know how we can help with fund raising to help increase the reward so we can hopefully get info to arrest and convict the S.O.B.that did this dreadful act! ♥

  2. Well said, every word. Disgusting. I am ill. Killing our NATIONAL bird is a misdemeanor? Killing any animal should be a felony. I am at a loss for words and you know that is unusual.

  3. Thank you for putting in words the feelings that I had. What in the world did these majestic birds do to the person? Why would someone feel the need to kill? This boggles my mind. Why do humans wish to hurt these wonderful creatures? I will help any way that I can. Let me know.

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